Sunday, 10 March 2013

Eating and Drinking with Jesus (Lent Study Week 3, 2013)

Last Supper by Jacopo Bassano

Luke 5
vv 1-11 Jesus calls first disciples
12-16 Jesus cleanses a leper
17-26 Jesus heals a paralytic
27-28 Jesus calls Levi
29-32 Jesus invited to a banquet
33-39 Jesus and celebration

Luke 7
v 34 “a glutton and a drunkard” See Deut 21:18-21
36-50 “... hence she has shown great love.”

Luke 14
vv 1-6 Eating and curing on the sabbath
7-14 Humility, who to invite
15-24 Bring in the poor, crippled and lame

Luke 22:14-23 Last Supper
Luke 23:43 Paradise as a banquet, see Isaiah 25:6-9

1. Jesus eats with those rejected and vilified. These people recognise in Jesus someone victimized as they are, by those who have rejected them. And Jesus is willing to risk the opposition that will come from his mixing with sinners and eating with them. Eating and drinking with sinners disrupted the rigid and enforced system of insider/outsider and was an enacted parable of God’s acceptance of all. (See Luke 15)

2. Luke 5:30 Pharisees ask the disciples why they eat with sinners compare Mark 2:16. By time Luke writes the church is being asked the question. Jesus answers the question (5:31), and this is the reason the church shares a table fellowship of festivity and inclusion signifying God’s acceptance and generosity. And notice Jesus’ answer, pointing to the healing ministry of his eating with sinners. (See Luke 4:16-21; 7:18-23)

Some Questions
Do people say this about our Eucharistic practice? (Lk 5:30)

What do people say about our Eucharistic practice?

How could we enhance the sense of the Eucharist as an occasion of joy in the presence of Jesus?

How do we welcome people to the table? 

How could we strengthen this practice?

Who isn’t welcome at our table at church? 

How do we live and invite people into a discipleship of righteousness and inclusion?

Quote for Reflection
“Jesus' compassion is characterized by a downward pull. That is what disturbs us. We cannot even think about ourselves in terms other than those of an upward pull, an upward mobility in which we strive for better lives, higher salaries and more prestigious positions. Thus, we are deeply disturbed by a God who embodies a downward movement. Instead of striving for a higher position, more power and more influence, Jesus moves, as Karl Barth says, from "the heights to the depths, from victory to defeat, from riches to poverty, from triumph to suffering, from life to death." (Henri Nouwen)


  1. In the Quote for Reflection I perceive a denial of the Spirit. We are and should be moving in all directions.

  2. Hi,

    The quote reminds us against triumphalism, a prosperity gospel, and our natural tendency to make good in all the things (wealth, family, honour, longevity, security)a that jesus radically relativizes to doing the will of God. I find it more challenging to my own self-sufficiency rather than a denial of the Spirit. It is a challenge because I don't do it, and don't particularly want to.

    Can you think of where Jesus says we should try for more money, prestige and honour (upward mobility)?


  3. We are and should be moving in all directions.

  4. By "all directions" you mean towards the Mostly unseen spiritual spheres not the physically perceived Earth sphere and the excessive wants and needs of this material world?
    This would be a bit of a challenge for any church that uses material objects in ritual as it is a subtle form of conditioning towards the material. How many people further their thinking spiritually while looking at the Cross.

  5. You are spot on!!